Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

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melinath
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by melinath » September 1st, 2009, 7:45 pm

I may have gone too far in saying purely decorative.

TSI: Does your lack of comment mean you now approve of the glider desc?
Sky Drake: Current Version:
Sky Drake: Draft 2:

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader » September 1st, 2009, 8:06 pm

I'd question bears and dolphins being small game, but otherwise it looks ok.
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by melinath » September 2nd, 2009, 4:01 am

thespaceinvader wrote:I'd question bears and dolphins being small game
Rabbit weight: 1.3-2.2 kg
Human weight (adult male): 76–83 kg

Bottlenose dolphin weight (small - coastal): 150 kg (about as much as a full-grown red deer)
Drake weight: Man+horse: ~600kg

Changed it to just game. Finished, if nobody voices objections.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Current drafts up for critique:
(Just so you know: I need to get these done by Thursday or Friday. Any bit of critique is extremely helpful.)

Finished and ready to commit if nobody objects: Glider and Burner.

Glider Caste:
Glider:Current Desc:
Glider: Draft 5:
Sky Drake: Current Version:
Sky Drake: Draft 2:
Hurricane Drake: Current Version:
Hurricane Drake: Draft 1:
Burner Caste:
Burner: Current Version:
Burner: Draft 2:
Fire Drake: Current Version:
Fire Drake: Draft 2:
Inferno Drake: Current Version:
Inferno Drake: Draft 2:
Drake Flare: Current Desc:
Drake Flare:Draft 1:
Drake Flameheart: Current Desc:
Drake Flameheart: Draft 1:

Fighter Caste
Fighter: Current Desc:
Fighter: Draft 1:
Warrior: Current Desc:
Warrior: Draft 0:
Blademaster: Current Desc:
Blademaster: Draft 2:
Coming soon:
Armageddon Drake: Current Desc:
The drake race description is already well done. I don't plan to try improving on it.
Last edited by melinath on September 5th, 2009, 12:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader » September 2nd, 2009, 8:06 am

They look OK to me, but you may want to run them by Jet as well, to see if there's anything that conflicts with the current drake lore, which he knows a lot more about than I do. I'll mention it next time i speak to him.
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by melinath » September 5th, 2009, 12:09 am

Edited my last post to include newest versions.

EDIT::
Got Jetrel's approval on these, with the suggestion to review my use of the word 'ceramic'. I removed one use from the fire drake desc that was just awkward. I consider these finished enough to be committed atm, though as always if someone sees something terrible I will do my best to fix it.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by AI » September 5th, 2009, 1:39 am

If nothing's happened when I wake up, I'll commit them for you.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by Skrim » September 5th, 2009, 2:52 am

Comment on the Blademaster description:

I think the "ebony armor" bit ought to be changed to "ebony-colored armor" or the such; I'm quite sure that it is still just ceramic-&-leather painted black, instead of wood.
Just a small bit of clarification.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by Zarel » September 5th, 2009, 4:35 am

"They have such freedom of movement in their robes that they can take advantage of the drakes' innate precision with fire to flush and herd their quarry without harming it."

"Innate precision with fire" looks like it could be rephrased.

"Grudgingly being allowed to train with the newcomers from other castes has increased their skill in combat, but their greatest strength still lies in their speed."

Very awkward phrasing. Try dashes:
"Being allowed - grudgingly - to train with the newcomers..."

"the caste prides itself on being the closest creatures alive to their powerful ancestors, the dragons."

"Close" is a fairly ambiguous term. While context seems to suggest that it refers to lineage, it's not immediately obvious. The sentence could easily be interpreted to mean geographical proximity or emotional proximity. I mean, I would certainly proud of being close friends with a dragon. ;)

Try to inject a term like "closely related", or "lineage", or "ancestry".

"Arrogant Burners, and there are many, can often be overheard saying that, like the dragons, their veins flow not with blood, but with pure flame."

Awkward; consider rephrasing. Remember, people read from left to right. Even though it's somewhat grammatically correct, the first part of the sentence gives the impression that it's addressing "arrogant Burners", as opposed to using "arrogant Burners" as the subject of a sentence.

Using dashes is more grammatically correct, and appears to flow better:
"Arrogant Burners - and there are many - can often be overheard saying that, like the dragons, their veins flow not with blood, but with pure flame."

Also, "claiming" seems to flow better than "saying" in this context.

"Respected for their flame and revered for their charisma,"

It's ambiguous what "their flame" is referring to. Their inner fire? Their outer fire [breath]? Even if it's intentionally ambiguous, it doesn't complement the unambiguous "charisma" very well.

"The flying conflagrations known as Infernos are masters of the fire they breathe,"

You've addressed this, but I wanted to point out that "Inferno Drake" works better since it compares well with "Fire Drake".

"Though Flamehearts are not powerful enough to defeat other high-ranking drakes in single combat,"

"[adjective] enough" feels a bit more modern than the writing style of your other descriptions, and the rest of Wesnoth. Consider "lack the power to", "cannot", "do not have the power to", or something along those lines. Remember to change "intelligent enough" accordingly.

"Any drake to gain this rank has learned from experience the expanse and limits of his authority"

And presumably the definition of the word "expanse", as well. ;) An expanse is a large space or area, not the size thereof. I'm guessing you meant "extent"? The "and limits" part is also pretty awkward. "Extent and limit" may work, but you might want to go with simply "extent of his authority".

"they always check twice do be sure that none are around"

I don't think I need to explain why "do be" is incorrect, but even assuming you meant "to be sure", the style still seems too modern. Something like "they always make sure" may be better.
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader » September 5th, 2009, 8:33 am

The mildly facetious part of me wants to make something of the flair/flare pun that is obvious but currently unused. I don't know, though, whether we can do so without being silly...
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by melinath » September 6th, 2009, 4:39 pm

Zarel: Thank you very much for your excellent critique of so many of the descriptions. Changes have been made according to (most of) your points.
Zarel wrote:Using dashes is more grammatically correct, and appears to flow better:
"Arrogant Burners - and there are many - can often be overheard saying that, like the dragons, their veins flow not with blood, but with pure flame."
Heh. I had dashes in the first draft and people complained. It's bothered me ever since. They will be put back in now that there's proof I'm not (the only) crazy.
Zarel wrote:It's ambiguous what "their flame" is referring to. Their inner fire? Their outer fire [breath]?
I don't really see that as ambiguous - I'm almost positive I always specify when it's the *inner* fire, and I think I consistently use the word 'fire', while flame is reserved for breath. Could be wrong, but even if this is ambiguous, I don't mind. However, I did change the line to "the heat of their flame".
Zarel wrote:You've addressed this, but I wanted to point out that "Inferno Drake" works better since it compares well with "Fire Drake".
Yeah... I haven't really addressed that, and to match with the current names, Inferno Drake would be more correct.

----
Regarding the Blademaster desc:
Skrim: I have not changed ebony, since it can be used to refer to the color and not just the wood.
Zarel: Thanks for pointing out the typo; however, I have to disagree with you on 'to be sure' sounding particularly modern.

Current drafts up for critique:

The following new descs were not changed because they were not critiqued and can thus be committed:
  • Sky Drake
  • Fire Drake
  • Drake Flare
  • Drake Fighter
  • Drake Warrior
The only change to the Inferno Drake desc was changing 'Infernos' to the more correct 'Inferno Drakes', so it, too, can be committed.
I'd like to give people a bit of time to look over the changed descriptions, since there seems to still be no fixed time for the string freeze. I may even have a chance to do the Armageddon Drake! (*gasp*)

Glider Caste:
Glider:Current Desc:
Glider: Draft 6:
Sky Drake: Current Version:
Sky Drake: Draft 2:
Hurricane Drake: Current Version:
Hurricane Drake: Draft 2:
Burner Caste:
Burner: Current Version:
Burner: Draft 3:
Fire Drake: Current Version:
Fire Drake: Draft 2:
Inferno Drake: Current Version:
Inferno Drake: Draft 3:
Drake Flare: Current Desc:
Drake Flare:Draft 2:
Drake Flameheart: Current Desc:
Drake Flameheart: Draft 2:

Fighter Caste
Fighter: Current Desc:
Fighter: Draft 1:
Warrior: Current Desc:
Warrior: Draft 0:
Blademaster: Current Desc:
Blademaster: Draft 2.5:
Coming soon:
Armageddon Drake: Current Desc:
The drake race description is already well done. I don't plan to try improving on it.
Last edited by melinath on September 6th, 2009, 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by Zarel » September 6th, 2009, 5:06 pm

"Experience has taught any drake of this stature the extent and limits of his authority"

The juxtaposition of the singular "extent" and plural "limits" looks a bit weird. "The extent and limit of his authority", as I suggested, works just as well.
melinath wrote:
Zarel wrote:It's ambiguous what "their flame" is referring to. Their inner fire? Their outer fire [breath]?
I don't really see that as ambiguous - I'm almost positive I always specify when it's the *inner* fire, and I think I consistently use the word 'fire', while flame is reserved for breath. Could be wrong, but even if this is ambiguous, I don't mind. However, I did change the line to "the heat of their flame".
"Respected for the heat of their flame and revered for their charisma,"

I think I see more clearly what was bothering me. It's that "charisma" is a more abstract/intangible concept than "heat of their flame" - they don't complement each other, or compare/contrast well. Adjective clauses that long need to flow well. Maybe "strength in battle" versus "charisma among peers"?
melinath wrote:The drake race description is already well done. I don't plan to try improving on it.
[/quote][/quote]

Why do you have two [/quote]'s at the end of your post? It looks like you were planning on quoting yourself, but didn't.
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by Araja » September 6th, 2009, 5:57 pm

melinath wrote:for although he can use his inner fire, even the mid-ranked hunters of the Glider caste are more effective.
That sounds a lot like stats to me, that's a very in-game comparison to another unit.
You could easily add "and more accurate too." and it would be even more noticeable :wink:

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by melinath » September 9th, 2009, 1:29 pm

Zarel wrote:"Experience has taught any drake of this stature the extent and limits of his authority"

The juxtaposition of the singular "extent" and plural "limits" looks a bit weird. "The extent and limit of his authority", as I suggested, works just as well.
No, it doesn't. You can say 'the limit of his authority' (though it sounds odd to me) but extent and limit can't be paired like that. It doesn't work. But you're right that "extent and limits" is also a bit odd. I've tried to correct this in the new version by removing 'limits' altogether.
Zarel wrote:
melinath wrote: I don't really see that as ambiguous - I'm almost positive I always specify when it's the *inner* fire, and I think I consistently use the word 'fire', while flame is reserved for breath. Could be wrong, but even if this is ambiguous, I don't mind. However, I did change the line to "the heat of their flame".
"Respected for the heat of their flame and revered for their charisma,"

I think I see more clearly what was bothering me. It's that "charisma" is a more abstract/intangible concept than "heat of their flame" - they don't complement each other, or compare/contrast well. Adjective clauses that long need to flow well. Maybe "strength in battle" versus "charisma among peers"?
Two problems:
1. Drake Flares aren't strong in battle, and in the drake culture that these fit into, strength in battle is secondary to your ability to breathe fire.
2. "heat of their flame" and "charisma" aren't the things that are being compared/contrasted here, but rather "respected" and "revered". These aren't adjective clauses - these are parallel constructions. Flame and charisma are merely the qualities that induce the states of respect and reverence, and as such need not match up with each other more than they already do. It works as is.
Zarel wrote:Why do you have two [/quote ]'s at the end of your post? It looks like you were planning on quoting yourself, but didn't.
One of those was probably your own [/quote] from quoting me. The other was because the easiest way to copy this post is to quote it, and I apparently forgot to delete the ending quote.
Araja wrote:
melinath wrote:for although he can use his inner fire, even the mid-ranked hunters of the Glider caste are more effective.
That sounds a lot like stats to me, that's a very in-game comparison to another unit.
You could easily add "and more accurate too." and it would be even more noticeable :wink:
An in-game stat can have influence on the lore, and thus is fair game in any description; however, you are right that the description was awkward. I've changed the line in question.

Current drafts up for critique:

Glider Caste:
Glider:Current Desc:
Glider: Draft 6:
Sky Drake: Current Version:
Sky Drake: Draft 2:
Hurricane Drake: Current Version:
Hurricane Drake: Draft 2:
Burner Caste:
Burner: Current Version:
Burner: Draft 3:
Fire Drake: Current Version:
Fire Drake: Draft 2:
Inferno Drake: Current Version:
Inferno Drake: Draft 3:
Drake Flare: Current Desc:
Drake Flare:Draft 2:
Drake Flameheart: Current Desc:
Drake Flameheart: Draft 2:

Fighter Caste
Fighter: Current Desc:
Fighter: Draft 1:
Warrior: Current Desc:
Warrior: Draft 1:
Blademaster: Current Desc:
Blademaster: Draft 2.5:
Coming soon:
Armageddon Drake: Current Desc:
The drake race description is already well done. I don't plan to try improving on it.

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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by Zarel » September 10th, 2009, 7:11 am

melinath wrote:No, it doesn't. You can say 'the limit of his authority' (though it sounds odd to me) but extent and limit can't be paired like that. It doesn't work. But you're right that "extent and limits" is also a bit odd. I've tried to correct this in the new version by removing 'limits' altogether.
My original suggestion was "extent of his authority" - I'm guessing you missed that? ;) And here I've been refraining from suggesting it again because I thought you didn't like that idea. :P
melinath wrote:Two problems:
1. Drake Flares aren't strong in battle, and in the drake culture that these fit into, strength in battle is secondary to your ability to breathe fire.
2. "heat of their flame" and "charisma" aren't the things that are being compared/contrasted here, but rather "respected" and "revered". These aren't adjective clauses - these are parallel constructions. Flame and charisma are merely the qualities that induce the states of respect and reverence, and as such need not match up with each other more than they already do. It works as is.
The entire phrase "Respected for the heat of their flame and revered for their charisma," is an adjective clause (specifically, the one I was referring to).

"Respected for the heat of their flame" and "revered for their charisma" are parallel constructions, but the entire phrases need to complement, not just the leading verb. I can understand if you don't like my proposed revisions, but I still think you should rephrase it to flow better.
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Re: Melinath's Descriptions: Drakes

Post by solsword » September 11th, 2009, 11:43 am

Some more comments on the descriptions:

Glider Caste:
melinath wrote: {Many drakes take great pleasure in the flow of air over scales, leading them to don the light cloth robes of the Glider caste.} (A fortunate fact, for the drakes would otherwise be hard pressed to find anyone willing to take the long flights out to the reaches of the tribal territory for the drudgery of hunting when more glory could be found on the battlefield.)

Gliders are specialists at capturing game like deer, bears, or ?dolphins?. /They have such freedom of movement in their robes/ that they can quickly and precisely aim their fire, flushing and herding their quarry without harming it. |When a Glider is called to the battlefield, he avails himself of this precision, and does all he can to keep his precious wings as far from the enemy as possible.|
{} = "take great pleasure in the flow of air over scales" seems really awkward to me, maybe just a little over-embellished? I'd use a simpler phrasing such as "love of flight" (obviously adapted to fit). Also, "don" in conjunction with a "Drakes that..." construction is shorter than "leading them to don", and works better IMO. An example change: "Many drakes that love the freedom of flight don the light robes of the Glider caste." "Cloth" also seems redundant to me here: what else are you going to make light robes out of?

() = This also sounds awkward to me, probably mostly because of the "hard-pressed" line. You can say the same thing without making most of drake society seem quite so lazy and bloodthirsty ("fortunate fact" and "hard-pressed" are the keys here). Perhaps something along the lines of: "Gliders are the hunters in Drake society not only because they are skilled at hunting but also because they are the only Drakes who actually enjoy the long flights to the far reaches of Drake territory necessary to find prey." That sentence is a bit wordy and long, but I'm sure that something along those lines could work. Also, even if you keep it the way it is now, you'll need to add "far" to "reaches," as "reaches" by itself doesn't have the same meaning.

?? = As an aside, dolphin hunting as a glider would be difficult, but awesome. The gliders would have to dive once to force the dolphin to move deeper, and then track it below the water for however long it could hold its breath (~30min?) before catching it as it surfaced again. Requires very good eyesight, speed, and stamina, all things which the gliders possess!

// = Bringing up the robes again here is too much. It sounds like you're trying to get someone to notice something that you're proud of. While the robes may be great, there's no need to tout them in the description (especially since you've already mentioned them, and since the sprite should be right there on the description page, not to mention in the game). In fact, the more relevant factor in the Glider's freedom of movement is their lack of armor. Something like "By eschewing heavy armor, the Gliders gain mobility and speed which lets them quickly and precisely aim their fire, flushing and herding their quarry without harming it." However:

You could combine the point about armor with the next sentence, and make some reference to training in the first sentence; something like this:

"Gliders develop precise aim with their fire in order to hunt, flushing and herding their quarry without harming it. By eschewing armor they are able to use this skill in battle, and prefer to harass opponents who can't fight back at range. If forced into melee combat, they fight with their legs to keep their precious wings far away from their enemies."

Sorry if I'm providing too many examples and not enough advice; I don't want to seem like I'm giving my own version of things, but I feel like I'm much better at explaining (and hopefully inspiring) through example than through descriptions.

Last note on the glider: I feel like some mention of "legs" in the last sentence is important, because without it the stuff about keeping his wings away from the enemies is a bit vague and confusing. If you saw the attack animation, it would be obvious, but the description should probably be comprehensible on its own, given that the attack animation isn't always immediately available when reading the description for the first time.

---
melinath wrote: The lightweight ceramic armor that the Sky Drakes wear is a symbol of their rank, glazed silver to honor their connection to the air. As leaders of the hunt, they are often away from their homes for long periods of time. Each tries to bring as much game home as possible, competing to gain the respect of their tribe and, just possibly, time with one of the closely-guarded drake females.
This looks fine to me, but brings up a more general issue.

This description, along with several others including the main drake race description, make Drake society out to be an extremely oppressive place. This is *in addition* to the implications of (and explicit references to) a strict hierarchy within their society. A society can be strictly hierarchical, without the implied constant struggle for higher station being a *desperate* one (alright, at least in a fantasy world it can :wink: ). There's a difference between leading a blighted existence, constantly fighting to retain your marginal place in society and toiling to little reward, and being a member of a strict hierarchy where you strive to better your station in life through honorable competition with your peers. Not being Jetryl, I don't actually know which version is more descriptive of Drake society (or whether it varies between tribes or eras), but I do strongly get the impression from these descriptions that it is the former. If it's not (of if it's not that simple), then perhaps the tone of some of the descriptions (especially where it mentions interactions between the castes or the role of the castes in society) could do with some close inspection.

And now this is strictly my own opinion, but I think that a hierarchical society where both the positive and negative versions existed in different tribes would be much more interesting (and more conducive to using Drakes as both enemies and allies) than a society in which only the positive or negative aspects were expressed.

---
melinath wrote: Hurricane Drakes have moved above the menial hunting and gathering which the lower members of their caste are relegated to. They are an integral part of the drakes' military, scouting ahead of the main forces, carrying messages across the battlefield, and falling upon the enemy where it's least expected. Being allowed ‒ grudgingly ‒ to train with the newcomers from other castes has increased their skill in combat, but {their greatest strength still lies in their speed}.
{} = "strength lies in their speed" is a bit awkward to me, since strength and speed are so often contrasted. Perhaps "their greatest asset is still their speed." or similar.

---

Burner Caste:
melinath wrote: Before a drake is even considered for acceptance into the Burner caste, he must prove the strength of his inner fire; the caste prides itself on its similarity to the drakes' powerful ancestors: the dragons. {Arrogant Burners} ‒ (and there are many) ‒ can often be overheard claiming that, /like the dragons/, their veins flow not with blood, but with pure flame. Although a Burner's preferred weapon is his fiery breath, he won't shy away from striking blows with his bared claws.
{} = The unfortunate sentence-initial placement makes "Arrogant Burners" seem like some sort of proper noun. The rest of the sentence clarifies, but it's awkward. I'm not sure how best to rephrase without simply using more words, such as "members of this caste" instead of "Burners", so maybe this one is a lost cause.

() = You need "many of them" (or simply "of which there are many"). Just using "and" here might work in a conversation, but it doesn't in text.

// = Do dragons' veins *actually* flow with pure flame? The first time I read this, I misread the part between the commas as a parenthetical aside from the author, rather than part of the Burners' claim. Unfortunately, quotes here to delineate the claim would be too awkward, and "Arrogant Burners" aren't *actually* speaking anyways. I'm not sure there's a good fix for this, but I thought i'd point it out.

(EDIT-ish: I just read the old Flameheart description a bit down the page. Apparently dragons' veins do *actually* flow with pure flame?)

---
melinath wrote: Not yet permitted to wear the red-gold reserved for the highest ranks of the Burners, the Fire Drakes trim their armor with silver. Though {they have only begun to dedicate their lives to the flame that burns within them}, its vitality emanates through their skin, scorching their scales to a reddish-gray.
{} = This is a bit flowery for my tastes, but it's not a big deal...

Otherwise I really like this description.

---
melinath wrote: The flying conflagrations known as Inferno Drakes are masters of the fire they breathe, respected and feared in their tribes nearly as much as the dragons themselves. Their extensive exercise of their inner flame has made them nearly immune to fire and has tinged their scales red. {Thus even in appearance, they are similar to their revered ancestors, and wear red-gold armor that is sculpted to enhance the illusion.}
{} = It's not quite "even in appearance", since the first and most obvious similarity between drakes and dragons is their appearance. Perhaps use "Thus in both abilities and appearance they are similar to their revered ancestors, and their sculpted red-gold armor only enhances the similarities." Things about the end of that re-wording: "sculpted red-gold armor" is more concise and easier to read than "red-gold armor that is scuplted." Also, it's not completely an "illusion": the things really do breath very deadly fire, and have claws that can tear men apart. Of course, if instead of talking about their "similarities" (which include visual *and* pragmatic similarities) you talk about their appearance only (most simply by just eliminating the word "even"), the word "illusion" applies perfectly, and speaks subtly to their pride. That route would produce: "Thus in appearance they are similar to their revered ancestors, and they wear red-gold armor that is sculpted to enhance the illusion." (I'm pretty sure about the extra "they" and missing comma there...?). Here of course "that is scuplted to " is part of a different phrase and so the comment about "scuplted red-gold" versus "red-gold that is scuplted" doesn't apply. In fact, removing the "even" is probably a lot closer to your original meaning, now that I think about it :hmm: .

---
melinath wrote: Respected for the heat of their flame and revered for their charisma, Flares {show promise to} become great leaders of their people, both in war and peace. Though a small isolated tribe will sometimes accept a Flare as a leader, they are more often seen leading small war parties or mediating disputes (with a subtle hand).
This one is good.

{} = Is it just me, or does one "show promise of" rather than "showing promise to"? Overall I'm a bit uncomfortable with this phrasing, and if you are as well, consider "have the potential to". Of course, if you like it as-is, feel free to keep it that way.

() = This strikes me as awkward. The intent is clear, but "with a subtle hand" just sounds very awkward to me. Generally, you'd use something like "with a gentle hand" to imply the subtlety, as the idiomatic "hand" isn't itself subtle, but "gentle" is out of place in a description of a drake leader... You could go with something that uses a contrast instead, like "mediating disputes in a more diplomatic manner than the Clashers," or you could just try to think of a better wording for it? But honestly, it's not really that bad, so you could just leave it as-is.

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melinath wrote: Flamehearts lack the strength to defeat other high-ranking drakes in single combat, but prefer in any case to avoid confrontation within the tribe. Experience has taught any drake of this stature the extent of his authority: where he can push those he leads and when it is best to leave them to their own devices. Only occasionally will a Flameheart challenge his tribe's leader for supremacy, {if he is sure of the support of his fellow drakes}.
This is very good. Just one tiny nit to pick :)

{} = This would read more naturally as "and only if" (or "and only when") instead of just "if".

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Fighter Caste
melinath wrote: Drakes of the Fighter caste are the foundation of any tribe's army. No special abilities or skills set them apart; only their natural brute strength and military training help them carve their way through enemy forces. They fight as they have for centuries, clad in ceramic-plated leather with the traditional single blade mounted on the back of each wrist.
Very good. I'm excited to see these high-quality descriptions (and hopefully more like them) make their way into mainline.

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melinath wrote: A Warrior's only purpose in drake society is to fight and die for his tribe. He is constantly fighting, trying to prove his worth to the more respected castes by sheer physical prowess – {for he can't match even the hunt leaders with his inner fire.}
{} = Based on the Glider caste descriptions, this isn't true. It's not that the Glider has a better *inner* fire, the Glider is just better-trained in its use. Now it may be the case that in Drake society what counts is the innate ability *plus* the learned skill, but this wording implies that the Warriors have especially wimpy fire abilities (and this impression of wimpiness is reinforced by the fact that you're putting Warriors below Sky Drakes, which have already been assigned a pretty low rung on the ladder). I'd try to make this description less pathetic-sounding (and more heroic-warrior-sounding). After all, the Drake Warrior is a pretty fearsome Wesnoth unit overall, and it's not exactly a pushover even against other drakes.

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melinath wrote: {Ebony armor} marks the elite order of the Fighter caste: the Blademasters. Only a few manage to gain the (skill and power) necessary to be admitted to this highest rank without perishing in battle. Though other drakes may disparage the Fighter caste, they always check twice to be sure /none/ are around; Blademasters fiercely protect their honor, |and tribe leaders rarely dare punish them for it.|
{} = I know that this point was already sort-of addressed, but I can't help but bring up the fact that this wording lends itself to creating the impression that the Drake's armor is *actually* made out of ebony wood. If ebony were used in a different phrasing (say, "Their ebony armor..." somewhere after the first sentence) the term would lose a lot of significance, and thus be more naturally read as meaning simply "black-colored" (although a mistake is always possible without clarification). Confounding factors include that the armor specifically marks them as different from other Drake classes: it's reasonable to assume that special armor is made out of a special material, instead of just being a different color.

() = "and power" here is unnecessary and silly-sounding. "skill" alone is sufficient.

// = "none" here more naturally refers to "members of the Fighter caste" than specifically "Blademasters", which I suspect was not what was intended? (As that meaning would imply that the less experienced Fighters go crying to the Blademasters when insulted...) Use "no Blademasters" here instead, and replace the next instance of "Blademasters" with "they."

|| = What? This implies that the Blademasters commit a crime by protecting their honor... but I'd assume that challenging someone to single combat and then ripping them to shreds isn't a crime in Drake society, so... In fact, based on the stuff in the race description about strict standards of honesty, I can't imagine that whatever the Blademaster would do would be criminalized in this case: if it were, the Blademaster wouldn't do it (that would make them a hypocrite in any case...). To get some of the same implications more directly: "...; Blademasters fiercely protect their honor, usually by means of duels to the death {that they invariably win}." (the {} part I'm not sure about) or something like it should work.

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melinath wrote: Coming soon:
Armageddon Drake: Current Desc:
I look forward to more of your excellent work, sir.

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melinath wrote: The drake race description is already well done. I don't plan to try improving on it.
Having just read said description, it *could* use a little bit of grammar/phrasing work... but it is admittedly *pretty* good, and a complete rewrite is unnecessary.


Disclaimer: Feel free to ignore me, especially if my definition of "awkward" isn't yours. A lot (but not all) of this criticism is highly subjective. Also, that's a *lot* of comments... I realize that you may not have time to go over them all.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~pmawhorter - my website.

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